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Local Pumpkin Patches

Updated: Oct 30, 2023

by Ava Mulno and Anya Balderson

We are officially in the fall season, which means it is the time of the year for pumpkins, tractor rides, corn mazes, and fall-themed activities. Whether you’re looking for all these must-haves in one place, or for an easy place to pick up a pumpkin, San Diego has it all.

Bates Nut Farm is notorious for its sprawling patches of pumpkins and should be highlighted this season. Their 2023 patch is open daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., beginning September 16th through Halloween. Bates Nut Farm has been around for 90 years, while the pumpkin patches have been open for 60 years. Its history originates back in 1921, when Gilbert and Beatrice Bates moved to raise their family of five boys to Valley Center, purchasing the “Walnut Slope Ranch.”

Over 100 years later, this farm would become an attraction, renamed the Bates Farm. Keeping true to the original name, it is still known for its variety of nuts and spices. Although it began as a walnut farm, it has evolved to sell a large variety of nuts from all over the world.

Admission to the farm is free including free parking, with the exception of weekends, where parking is $10.

Families and groups of friends can spend a full day on the farm filled with fall spirit, choosing the best pumpkin to carve, trying fall-festive foods, or simply getting into the fall spirit.

But if the full day of fun isn’t what you are looking for to kickstart fall, you can grab a pumpkin, or maybe two, at a local grocery store. Trader Joe’s, located in Liberty Station, is a great option. They sell a variety of small, medium, and large pumpkins. Along with the pumpkins, TJ’s is known for its seasonal items; it is about this time when they go crazy with fall flavors. Ranging from pumpkin-spiced bagels and apple cider donuts to vanilla pumpkin-scented candles, Trader Joe’s is the place to go to quickly fulfill your festive autumn needs.


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